Mediation is a process through which a third-party mediator works with plaintiffs and defendants to communicate, negotiate, and attempt to voluntarily resolve a lawsuit. In Ohio courts, personal injury cases are frequently referred to mediation in an attempt to settle disputes before they proceed to trial.
Mediation can be carried out in several different ways, according to the methods chosen by the mediator. The parties to a case may be brought together to discuss the lawsuit face-to-face or they may be separated with the mediator acting as a “go-between”.
In all cases, the mediator’s role is to facilitate discussion between the parties. This typically involves frank conversations regarding the facts, claims, and value of the lawsuit. Over the course of several hours, the mediator will attempt to bring the parties to a mutually-agreeable settlement of one or more claims made in the lawsuit.
It is important for parties to remember that, while the mediator can facilitate discussion, the mediator does not represent your interests during the mediation process. Only your attorney represents you throughout the mediation.
All parties should approach mediation with an open mind and make a good-faith effort to negotiate. However, Plaintiffs are under no obligation to settle their case during mediation.
Prior to and during mediation, you and your attorney will discuss appropriate settlement circumstances. If mediation does not enable you to achieve an appropriate settlement, your case will be placed back on the Court’s docket and proceed to trial as scheduled.